Evacuations Ordered, Flash Flood Watch In Effect Until Saturday

Evacuations have been ordered for some Brazoria County residents as a flash flood watch is in effect for Houston-area counties until Saturday evening.


Evacuations have been ordered for some Brazoria County residents as a flash flood watch is in effect for Houston-area counties until Saturday evening.

Austin, Brazos, Burleson, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Harris, Houston, Jackson, liberty, Madison, Matagorda, Montgomery, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Walker, Waller, Washington and Wharton counties are also included in the watch.

The National Weather Service says an upper level low-pressure system centered over central Texas will slowly move into south Texas this weekend.

“A series of upper level disturbances rotating around this feature will pivot into southeast Texas through Saturday and trigger periods of showers and thunderstorms. The weather pattern today will be similar to the past couple of days. On average most locations can anticipate 1/2 to 2 inches of rainfall, but localized swaths of much higher totals between 4 and 7 inches are possible where training sets up. We will be keeping an eye on the potential for another storm complex to possibly impact the area overnight.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting the Brazos River to maintain record levels into next week, and additional rainfall could cause more concern for area residents. Brazoria County Judge Matt Sebesta issued a mandatory evacuation Friday for residents residing North of County Road 30S. About 1,700 inmates from the Ramsey Unit in Rosharon were also being evacuated.


Meanwhile, the West Fork San Jacinto near Highway 59 is expected to remain above major flood levels into this weekend. The San Jacinto River near Sheldon was at moderate flood levels and will begin to fall Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

Several creeks were running high: Cypress Creek, Spring Creek, and the lower portion of Greens Bayou and Armand Bayou. Meteorologist Jeff Lindner, with The Regional Joint Information Center, said these watersheds are running within about three or four feet of their bank-full levels.

Houston TranStar was reporting more than 40 high-water locations Friday morning after overnight rain.

The Harris County Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring weather conditions.

“Overnight, we’ve had a period to dry out and a lot of the thunderstorm activity this morning has been along the coast and offshore. And while it’s attempting to move inland, it’s kind of struggling a little bit so I think we might actually get through this morning without any significant heavy rainfall," Lindner said. "And then we’ll have to pay very close attention to this afternoon and into the overnight period tonight.”

The Pasadena, La Porte and Deer Park area received the most rain Thursday night.

“They had anywhere from 4.5 to 5 inches of rain in a 2 to 3-hour period last night, which did cause a lot of street flooding down in that area. And we now have 24- hour totals on Cypress Creek around I-45 of up to nine inches. So we are concerned, if we get more development this afternoon, there’s just not a lot of capacity in our channels to handle additional rainfall,” Linder said.

Lindner says these bands of storms are behaving somewhat like a tropical system.

“And that’s just the fact that you have a low-pressure center sitting over a very, very moist air mass across the state of Texas, and so it kind of takes on these tropical-like characteristics. And we know that tropical systems, when they move inland and decay, can produce some really heavy rainfalls," he said. "That’s the concern tonight for our area, and that’s what we’re going to be watching as we move through today.

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